Fiat says it has sued Great Wall Motor Co. to prevent the Chinese carmaker from selling a new small car called the Peri.
In April, Fiat started in Turin a legal action for Europe. A similar action was started in China for domestic sales a month later.
“We expect the first court ruling in China by December, and in Turin for Europe by the end of January 2008,” says Monica Borgi, a lawyer Fiat Group Automobiles.
But Shang Yugui, a spokesman for Great Wall, says, “Peri is a self-developed car of Great Wall. We hold the intellectual property rights as well as the patents of Peri.”
He says the first Peri will roll off the production line in late October. However, sales of the car may be postponed till Great Wall gets a production license from Chinaâ€™s National Development and Reform Commission.